Monday, July 14, 2014

Games Thirst Review: Vanquish

If you are looking for a game that makes you feel like you were just injected with a shot of adrenaline, then Vanquish is the game for you. Vanquish is a super stylized, fast paced third person shooter that brings a new outlook on the third person shooter genre.

Vanquish is based around the character Sam, who is a former college sports star with a habit of lighting up a cigarette at the most inconvenient times. In the game, he works for a company called DARPA, who has created a jet-propelled super suite, called the A.R.S. Battle Suite. Sam has to use this suite, and all of its abilities, in a war against Russia, who has just destroyed a United States city, and has threatened to do it again in eight hours. Sam is thrown into battle, along with U.S. Marines, on a giant space station created by the United States, which has been taken control of by the Russian forces, and is now being used as a weapon.  They must stop the Russian forces, and retake control of the space station.

From the moment you gain control of Sam, you will become addicted to the ability to jet slide around the levels. Every second I could, I would be sliding in circles, sliding into walls and kicking off of them, and just having a good time.  The developers made the game easy to maneuver through the levels. The levels are well designed and you rarely, if ever, get stuck on objects as you move around. They also set up many areas to take cover in while you are fighting.

Not only can you jet slide around, but you can also use bullet time. This can be found in quite a few games today, but it is truly useful and needed in Vanquish. It will activate when you are damaged too much, which allows you to either kill the enemies, or run to cover. You can also activate it manually by diving and holding the aiming trigger, or when you are shooting while sliding, this is when you need it most. It is very hard to shoot someone while sliding if you are not in bullet time.

They did a great job at creating the physics of the suite, and they did an even better job on the overall way the game plays. The aiming is solid, and the cover system works great. The controls are laid out well, but at first, they take some getting use too. There is also an upgrade system that is very simple to use. All you do is go up to the upgrade that an enemy dropped and equip the weapon you wanted to upgrade and grab the upgrade. This upgrade system stays true to the fast paced action of the game.

As you are experiencing this masterful gameplay, you may also notice that the game looks absolutely great, with some set pieces that will blow your mind. The levels are detailed, but can become a little too familiar, since they all are made in muted colors. The enemies look great, especially the mini bosses, and main bosses you fight, but the smaller enemies look generic. The main characters of the game, such as Sam, are all well designed, and fit their personalities. The suite is probably the best looking thing in the game. They did a great job of adding the little things, such as grenades swaying on your side, and the small scratches on the suite.

The guns are amazing looking as well. At times, I would just sit in cover and keep rotating between weapons to watch the guns form in my hands. They all have their own look and feel when you use them. Vanquish also has some of the best-looking explosions and particle effects. There are sparks flying everywhere and enemies blowing up at all time. Also, when in bullet time, it is awesome to see the bullets flying by your head in slow motion, or shooting a rocket in mid air and watching it explode. It truly looks amazing.

Vanquish has some of the best cinematics, and real time cinematics I have seen. I could just watch them over and over. They leave you with the feeling that Sam is truly a badass character. Some of the things he pulls off in the cut scenes really amazed me. I never once wanted to skip the cut scenes.

For all the amazing things that Vanquish excels at, there are a few things that are lacking. The story is a little clichéd, and there are diffident plot problems. The game is a little short. You can probably complete it, on the hardest difficulty, in about 7 hours, and on the easiest difficulty, in about 3 hours, and is probably only fun for a few playthroughs. There is also an arcade style scoring system that allows you to rack up points as you play, and your points are recorded on the world leader boards. This could give you a reason to play more. There is also a challenge mode that adds some more replay value, and it allows you to fight waves of enemies, and is pretty fun.

Platinum Games has created a heart pounding, over the top action game that will give you a good time. It really sets a new standard for fast paced third person shooters. It has almost flawless gameplay, and great level design. It shows what great things can come from a mixture of Japanese and Western game styles. Vanquish is a truly amazing game, and though it is short, deserves a lot of credit for being creative, fun, and different. Also, Vanquish has one of the most fun closing credits I have experienced.

Overall: 8.8

About Joshua Tompkins

  • Ernice Gilbert

    Great score for a great game. I’m convinced now. And since it’s going for so cheap ($34.99) next week, even better.

  • Joshua Tompkins

    yeah, I wanted to give it a 9, and I kind of want to change my score to a 9. I mean it is one of the most fun games I have played in a while.

  • Joshua Tompkins

    It is one of those games that you keep thinking about after you get done playing it.

  • Ernice Gilbert

    Wow, I can imagine. I had great fun with the demo so this must be good. I Want.

  • Joshua Tompkins

    yep, if you liked the demo, you will love the game.

  • ExclusivesMostly

    My brother has this game so I guess I’ll give it a go (yeah I know I don’t sound super excited). The demo was just ok for me but I’m a bit more optimistic based on my brother’s satisfaction and now this review.

  • Ernice Gilbert

    Indeed. There were two demos released, right? I got the last one.